A Night You Won’t Forget
Three minutes later, just after the result from Baltimore had been posted on the scoreboard at Tropicana Field, in the bottom of the 12th inning, Evan Longoria hit a low, screaming liner into the left-field corner that cleared the fences by a few inches. Maybe the most stunning few inches baseball fans have witnessed in a long, long time.
The Rays had won. Comeback complete.
We spent the past three weeks sweating and cheering every home run, wild pitch, bad call, bullpen blow-up, broken bat, diving catch, clutch hit, rally-killing groundout, triple play and rookie from Yale. Then this night arrives, a gift from the baseball gods.
- David Schonfield, ESPN: A Night You Won’t Forget
Last night was a reminder of why we love the game. There are times as fans when we get frustrated and annoyed with shoddy ownership, millionaire crybabies, Bud Selig and off-field antics, but the incredibly dramatic finish to the 2011 regular season was a thing to behold. For a while, it didn’t matter who you were rooting for or against. Anyone who is a baseball fan knew they were witnessing the greatest finish to a season ever and we reveled in it. That drama, that intensity, the pure joy in Tampa and the despair in Boston — that whole emotional roller coaster is what makes being a sports fan both an awesome and a nerve wracking experience.
I’m a life long Yankee fan. When that ball cleared the wall in the 12th inning, I cheered. Yea, sure, I cheered because that run was a death blow to the Red Sox, but I also cheered because damn, that was a great game. I cheered for the Rays spectacular comeback and I cheered for a game that I once loved with all my heart and fell into a complacent relationship with recently.
This week, I was reminded of all the reasons I adored this game to begin with. And I fell in love again. When a sport can make me finish off watching a three game sweep of my favorite team by cheering, it’s a beautiful thing.